Gazans converge on Israel border for ‘Return’ rallies

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At least 50 Palestinians on Friday were injured by the Israeli army amid ongoing demonstrations on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The ministry also reported that four Palestinian medics had suffered respiratory problems after Israeli forces targeted a field hospital near the border with excessive amounts of teargas.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said at least 50 Palestinians — including medics and journalists — had been injured by live ammunition and teargas.

Hundreds of Palestinians on Friday flocked to camps set up along the border amid ongoing mass rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

Earlier Friday, the UN high commissioner for human rights urged Israel to refrain from using “excessive force” against demonstrators.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, at least 41 Palestinian protesters — including five children — have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to Health Ministry figures.

Thousands of others have been injured — more than 140 seriously — over the same period, al-Qidra said.

For the last four weeks, Gazans have staged rallies along the border to demand the “right of return” to their land in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15. That day will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "The Catastrophe".

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